It’s little more than a decade since I first became a parent and not more than seven years since I mothered another child. Sounds like a long time but, truth be told, the time just flies off and with two kids in a tow, it’s been an adventurous journey so far. I have enjoyed embosoming them when they were my cute babies, have cherished their little talks and funny antics when they were preschoolers and love guiding them in their studies, also in their troubles, now that my elder one is already a pre-teen.
So as a mother, while most of my time is consumed either nurturing or giving them pearls of wisdom, somewhere down the line I realized it’s not only they who are the gainers but I too am , as the kids are constantly teaching me the practical lessons on life. I am slowly recognizing that parenting is not just coaching your kids how to do and what to do but is also a learning process for yourself where you are molded ; physiologically ,mentally and emotionally, into a better human being. The influence a mother and child have on each other is mutual- both learn to become a better person with each passing day.
With their own understanding of things and outlook for life, `knowingly or unknowingly, they sometimes teach a thing or two to us adults as well. Here is some of the practical wisdom which I have learnt from my kids, either just by watching them or talking to them:
Forgive and feel glad: I shout, I lecture, I threaten and sometimes have even slapped them (not on their face though) but which mother hasn’t? That’s another story whenever I do these antics I am filled with remorse and promise myself never to repeat my bad behavior (but promises are meant to be broken, right?) . Anyways the point being, although at times I am given the title of “the worst mother ever”, magically, I am their “the best mom ever”, the next minute. Kids conveniently forgive me for all my reprimands coz deep in their hearts they know how much I love them.
Similarly after their every small tiff, both my kids kiss and make-up. They know they are indispensable to each other. Indubitably, children are so innocent and pure that they can’t fathom the idea of holding a grudge against other for long. That’s why they are always so relaxed, calm and full of positive energy. Such a behavior on their part keeps motivating me to master this life- skill day in and day out.
P.S. Even though me and my husband make each other crazy and angry at times , taking a leaf out of my young ones book, at the end of the end we try to sort out the matter and start afresh the next day.
Life lesson 1: Not to fret and let it go. Life is too short to harbor a grudge.
Be careful with your words: My little one once told her friend in the park, “you are an idiot; I won’t play with you anymore.” Imagine my plight when she put me in a spot in front of her mother whom I was talking to. Sometimes the situation arises when my kids say something hurtful to others or even snap each other by saying “it goes back to you” , whenever they indulge in name-calling games. This makes me think “from where are they learning such disrespectful tone. Why such wrong words are coming out of their mouths?”
Actually my kids are not to be blamed. The thing is, I might be using such disrespectful language with them which, in return they just vomit on someone else’s face. I know I don’t always use polite language with my kids or might not have behaved nicely with people. But I also understand that since my kids consider me as their role model, I have to be really careful about what I say. It’s a work in progress and having two kids , whose eyes and ears are constantly on me, keeps reminding me that.
So now I make sure to speak about friends, family neighbours in a respectful tone AND TRY NOT TO BE JUDGEMENTAL ABOUT THINGS OR SITUATIONS, even if my kids are not around as eventually it will make me a better person.
Life lesson 2: Think before you speak lest it might hurt others’ feelings.
Hard work pays, eventually: Right from the day they were born till today as they try to solve a Math’s problem, don’t you think our children do a lot according to their ability. For example, a typical routine of my elder one includes waking up early in the morning, getting ready for school and spending half a day there to gain knowledge. Once she is back home; completing her homework, attending dance classes and tuition eat up most of her time. She is a brilliant kid who, to my wonder, remains much composed while carrying on with her usual activities.
I remember when my younger one was learning to ride her bicycle, she would fall again and again but still remain keen to learn, only to fall again. After many bumps and bruises, her perseverance finally paid off and now she is an adept at cycling. In the same vein, I continuously watch them working hard towards completing their school projects, learning to swim and even making friends. Each passing day teaches something new and thus makes them confident beings.
Taking cue from their life, I too am inspired to work diligently to achieve goals of my life.
Life lesson 3: Keep trying till you succeed.
Nurture relationship with real people: You must have noticed regardless of nth toys and games you buy for your children, they still want to play with their real-life friends. I have seen this unusual phenomenon with my kids. They will enjoy their new plaything at the most for 2-3 days, tuck them away neatly in their shelf and return to playing in the park with their friends. Even on days when her usual friends are not in the park, my younger one will find a kid of her age and after formal introductions starts playing with her new friend. Wow!
In fact, they both can spend hours and hours together with their neighborhood friends without getting bored. In the park they will be running around, play on swings and slides or simply chat. Ask them to come home and they will beg “for one more minute”. Sweet!
Though in a veiled manner, but my kids have taught me how important it is to have good friends so that you can share both your joys and sorrows. Having good friends is a boon as they are the ones who help us in need, both personally and professionally, especially with the emergence of more and more nuclear families.
Life lesson 4: I now spend less time with my gadgets and try to be more socially active.
Though I think it’s my prerogative to teach them finer nuances of life but whether it’s learning new things or relearning the old lessons, sometimes I feel it’s my kids who are my teachers in a true sense.